The world has been seeing a natural wine resurgence for some time. With the age-old organic beverage becoming something of a recent trend, it is hard not to get sucked into the hype when it is seemingly everywhere at the moment.
However, what makes natural wine different to your supermarket standard? What actually is natural wine? And, most importantly: where can you drink it in Greater Manchester?
What is natural wine?
Natural wine is an alcoholic beverage which has little-to-no intervention from winemakers. Often, it omits pesticides and additives from the production method. Grapes are almost always handpicked and natural fermentation is preferred. Basically, it’s wine with all of the good stuff left to do its thing. Slow and steady wins the race.
Natural wine is often vegan, always unfiltered, chemical free and you may even find some bottles which are sulphite free, too!
Traditional sommeliers prefer the terms ‘organic’, ‘naked’ or ‘low-intervention’ wines when discussing the drink. However, natural wine seems to be the most commercially popular tag. If you know, you know.
Where can you drink natural wine in Greater Manchester?
Popping up all over the shop, natural wine has never been more accessible in Greater Manchester. There are restaurants like Wolf At The Door, Cocktail Beer Ramen and Bun and El Gato Negro, which have a neat selection of organic wines complimenting their menus. There are wine specialists such as KERB and Salut Wines, and also temporary celebrations, like Flawd Wine, found only for a short spell.
Below however, are three of my favourite stops in Greater Manchester. If natural wine is on the cards, Erst, Another Heart To Feed (NQ) and Isca Wines are my go-to safe-havens.
Where: 9 Murray St, Ancoats, M4 6HS
Erst champions simple, prefers seasonal and always chooses local. This Ancoats-based eatery is a must for those who enjoy conversation-starting drinks while digging into small sharing plates. The wine glossary (which is forever rotating) mainly champions independent vintage producers. This, paired with a solid ethos of quality over quantity, makes Erst a place that will undoubtedly sweep you off your feet.
Where: 10 Hilton Street, Northern Quarter, M1 1JF
Late night cheese and wine cravings: sponsored by Another Heart To Feed. Situated in the centre of Northern Quarter, entry-level rosé drinkers and orange wine veterans alike will all find something to be keen about.
The relaxed, foliage-filled setting is coupled with the most eclectic soundtrack in town – making Another Heart To Feed one of the coolest late-night wine bars. Peckish? The place offers a series of charcuterie boards and nibbles (think: olives, cheese from The Crafty Cheese Man and Pollen Bakery bread) to keep the midnight hunger pains at bay.
Where: 825 Stockport Rd, Levenshulme, M19 3PN
Preservers, wine enthusiasts and sustainability heroes – Levenshulme’s Isca is the bees knees. More than just a natural wine store, Isca Wines offers the chance to dive into some truly fascinating and fresh food items.
The shop itself champions produce from Cheshire’s Cinderwood Market Garden as well as tried-and-tested wine from around the world. If you are looking for an unforgettable experience and customer service which will put stars in your eyes, head to Isca Wines.